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UK car production up in May as domestic demand surges
[LONDON] British car production rose in May compared to the same month last year due to a double-digit rise in demand from domestic buyers, an industry body said on Thursday.
Total production rose 2.3 per cent to 119,338 cars in May on the back of a 13.3 per cent rise in the number of models built for the British market, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said.
However, the number of vehicles built for export, accounting for around four in five of all British-made cars, was down marginally by 0.2 per cent to 94,546 cars.
Exports have suffered in recent months due to cooling demand in China, Britain's biggest non-EU export market in 2014, and a drop in sales in Russia, its third-biggest non-EU destination, in the wake of sanctions over the Ukraine crisis.
But SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes said that an improvement in the performance of major EU markets, where Britain sends just over half of all the cars it exports, was also helping to lift output.
"We have seen a steady performance in UK car manufacturing this year, with volumes bolstered by a strong home market, while recovery in key European markets is helping to restore export production levels," he said.